Monday, August 14, 2017
Varun Kopparthy, a postdoc at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is interested in a career in consulting, and now knows many consulting companies want to hire advanced degree candidates. How better to help decide whether this career path is for him than to be a consultant? He wanted to understand what a consulting career involves and how to tackle a business case. In doing research to learn more, he came across the Tufts New England Case Competition (TUNECC) and applied to gain a better understanding and experience of a consulting career, and to network with peers and consulting firms. The competition is sponsored by industry giants Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Putnam Associates.
Varun received BEST Program funding to attend the competition and his team was awarded third place -and $500- for their solution developed while collaborating remotely. The diverse team included participants from Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR). They worked together to develop a comprehensive solution for Boston Scientific to address readmission rates and costs associated with the care of heart attack patients. Along the way Varun had the opportunity to meet with recruiters at the event.
The team, made up of Xiaorui Xiong (NIBR), Griffin Clausen (MIT), Varun Kopparthy (Cornell), Nishanth Krishnamurthy (Tufts), and Ioana Moga (Harvard), honed their critical thinking and teamwork skills while being mentored by industry professionals throughout the process. A career fair and networking reception rounded out the activities that ended with a panel discussion by senior leaders from the sponsoring firms and consulting experts. Jen Nwankwo, now a management consultant for Bain & Company, initiated this case competition in 2013 while a grad student at Tufts "with the belief that biomedical Ph.D. and Postdoctoral candidates with a demonstrated interest in business are well equipped to tackle the tough issues facing companies in the life sciences ecosystem".
Varun offered a short summary of his experience and what he got out of participating: